Skip to main content

tv   American History TV  CSPAN  May 28, 2016 11:41am-12:01pm EDT

11:41 am
sherman's march nothe sea was hard work, total war. withy at 6:00, take a tour senate majority leader mitch mcconnell. senator mcconnell: i had the good fortune to be here august 28, 1963 when martin luther king speech. i have a dream i confess, i could not hear a word. he was looking at literally thousands and thousands of people. you knew you were witnessing something really significant. >> lbj anguished about that war
11:42 am
every single day, and that is not an overstatement. .he daily body counts the calls either to or from the situation room, often at 2:00, 3:00 in the morning to see if the carrier pilots had returned. is joinedan hw brand by johnson and nixon aides to discuss the president's decisions during the conflict. and the church committee hearings, convened to fbi, cia, ande nsa. testimony by the fbi director william colby, lewallen, fbi informants, and others. >> we are here to review the major findings of our investigation of fbi
11:43 am
including programs aimed at the messick targets. fbi surveillance of law-abiding -- at domestic targets. fbi surveillance of law-abiding citizens and cases of intelligence operations. chest but for the complete -- >>le, go to for the complete schedule go to is touringr, c-span cities across the country exploring american history. next, a look at our recent visit to hattiesburg, mississippi. you're watching american history tv. all weekend, every weekend on c-span 3. >> we are in special collections at the university of southern mississippi. today we are looking at the theodore bilbo papers. his collection is very large. [laughter] we have over 2500 boxes of
11:44 am
archival material relating to theodore bilbo. his career and his life. theodore bilbo -- and this is one of his signed photos that he would distribute to fans -- was a mississippi politician in the first half of the 20th century. his career started around 1910, when he was doing a state congressman race. by the 1930's he had been elected governor. at the time in mississippi, you could not serve consecutive terms as governor. he served one term into the 1920's, early 1930's, then skipped a term, then stroked another four years later. -- then served another four years later. he was elected to the u.s. senate in the mid-1930's. he served until 1946 when he was removed from the senate. after being elected for a third term because of bribery charges.
11:45 am
and because of his views regarding race relations. there -- very well-liked within the state by poor white residents. he took advantage of the new deal project to improve the state. he helped a lot of great people. =--- a lot of rural white people. as governor of mississippi, he made the decision in the 1930's to remove all the president's from 3the presidents major universities in the state. the university of mississippi, what is now mississippi state university and mississippi university for women. he removed the presidents and replaced them with people -- i
11:46 am
think one was a real estate agent. another had just received his bachelor degree a year before. he removed all the people -- this is what was claimed -- that didn't like him. he removed professors that went against him, the president, and replaced them with his cronies. a lot of his friends that were often not qualified suddenly received positions in the universities in the state. this particular document here is a report of the executive committee of the association of colleges, which is one of the accreditation units for universities. they did their own investigation. the put not only the 3 schools whose presents were removed, but also southern mississippi on probation. that was something that made a lot of headlines. it hurt bilbo's career a good bit.
11:47 am
what he was known for and what people around the country came to identify with bilbo was where his views on race relations. as u.s. senator, theodore bilbo, one of his possible legislative ideas was the greater liberia act. this act was something that bilbo proposed to provide an opportunity for african americans to move to africa. [laughter] many called it the "back to africa" program. it was a way for bilbo to remove african-americans from everyday american life. what was unique about this plan is that he partnered with black -- a black nationalist group. the universal negro improvement association, which was marcus garvey's group, to collect signatures of people who would
11:48 am
be willing to move to africa to start anew. one thing you will notice from this petition is that the handwriting is the same on every line. you can see, maybe someone wrote it out and copied names from a phone book. but really, we think this was the presentation copy so you could read handwritings. a lot of african-americans supported this initiative. they felt at the time, there was no way to get equal rights in the united states. and this was across the country, not just in mississippi. they thought this was their only opportunity to find land and create something for themselves. as part of the greater liberia act, which we have a copy of,
11:49 am
the u.s. government would invest $15 million, $20 million to secure land and transportation for anyone that wanted to move to liberia. this was 1939. with world war ii in play, this was put on hold and forgotten. it shows just one of the ways in which bilbo tried to segregate the country. not only was he anti-african american but he did not care for italians, catholics, jewish people or hispanic people either -- or hawaiians it would seem. we have a file, and a justice -- and it just says "hawaii" on it. it has thoughts from various people on making hawaii a state.
11:50 am
this particular letter is written from a gentleman from west virginia. this collection has a lot of mississippi-related stuff, but his reach really was national because he was such an outspoken person. this person writes, "how would you feel to stand up and the called white trash by slant eyes n-word? "america is a white man's land because our ancestors fought and died for it. when our program and sisters left europe, they had no thought of making black people there their equal. people like you and me must work harder because there are so many white americans not interested in keeping america white.
11:51 am
in closing, i beg for the pride of our nation, do all you continue to do to keep hawaii out of the union. i am sending newspaper clippings in case you doubt my word." you can tell that this person approached bilbo because he knew that he would be sentimental and understanding of this particular person's thoughts. this is a copy of the response he sent to this person from west virginia. it says "i thoroughly agree with you in your views about making hawaii the 49th state. i have been opposing it along and will keep on fighting it we -- fighting it. we do not need a state with the kind of folks that largely make up hawaii. this mixture is too bad for the union." because of his beliefs, he received a lot of pushback as well. a lot of organizations thought -- fought to remove bilbo from the senate and prevent his election. they wrote complaining about his
11:52 am
beliefs, not all in agreement. so, one particular letter -- we have 3-4 letters labeled "hate letters." one hate letter comes with this clipping from a newspaper article. it accompanies a letter on u.s. never a station -- u.s. naval air station letterhead. it's addressed to theodore "the man" bilbo. he often referred to himself as "the man." "dear sir, we just read an article about you. it was but afterhtening, reading the comment, we like to ask you one question, not knowing much more animals, we like to found out one thing. in the picture, which is the jackass? the white one in the background, or the one with the hat on?" says sincerely and it is signed by three people.
11:53 am
this was sent to walter popular, who was a television and media guy at the time. in bilbo fashion, we have his response. one thing to point out is that on the top of this letter, someone handwrote "nasty" at the top. that gives you the tone of his letter. keep in mind this is from a u.s. senator. it's addressed "dear jackasses, on while in the midst of my june 28, campaign for reelection for a third term. miamietter just came to attention. i note with interest that you have just read a dirty lying, contemptible article published by time. let me take the time to tell you this article is a tissue of damn lies. it is written in an attempt to bring about my defeat for u.s.
11:54 am
senate in mississippi." it goes on, calling them a bunch of names, defending himself. he does make note of walter winchell being copied on the letter. he calls him names often called to jewish people. he wraps up the letter -- "i am very sorry of your low mental status. when you finish your service with the navy, i hope you have an opportunity under the g.i. bill, which i helped pass, to go to a school and become to a small degree intelligent enough to where you can learn the difference between a white mule and a jackass." also in response to bilbo, there were other more organized campaigns. father devine was a cult leader in the early 20th century. he believed in integration and peace and equal opportunities for everybody.
11:55 am
but started an anti-bilbo campaign. "down, down, down with bilboism! " he is posing with this gentleman, who just happens to be from mississippi. parts of his campaign ran in newspapers. another example of the campaign includes -- this one says "we sleep together in queen anne's bed." he will have ones like we eat weether, we drink together, take baths together. it reinforces the quality between the races. the things that people want to know about bilbo, more race relations things. bilbo really did embrace the new deal programs and brought different commissions like the gaming and wildlife commission to the state. that increased roads and dealt
11:56 am
with various legislation. a lot of the new deal programs, the ccc, he embraced to bring in new jobs. he was a man of the lower class and helped increase the quality -- of life. theodore bilbo kept getting reelected. even with all of his publicity that most of the time was not positive, he kept on getting elected. people may wonder, why? in mississippi, of course only voters were white voters. he wasn't catering to an african-american audience or any other group. because most of the state was rural and poor, those that were benefiting from a lot of his programs. a lot of the state fully supported segregation.
11:57 am
a lot of these things -- his personality, his interviews in a bathtub smoking a cigar. that was a lot of the appeal to bilbo and why people kept voting for him. but the end of bilbo's life he was removed from the senate because of bribery and race relations issues. he died within the next year of cancer soon after his career ended. nowadays, talking to university groups, many people don't know who theodore bilbo was. even though theodore bilbo's legacy has fallen to the wayside, people can learn more about him by looking through his papers. controversial or not.
11:58 am
>> our cities tour staff recently traveled to hattiesburg, mississippi to learn about its rich history. learn more about hattiesburg and other stops on the tour at you're watching american history tv. all weekend, every weekend on c-span3. >> our campaign 2016 bus continues to travel throughout the country to recognize winners from this year's student cam competition. recently, the bus stop in massachusetts to visit students from that state. students in first through eighth grade and foxpro attended a ceremony to honor eighth-graders for their honorable mention video "gunning for safety." and o recognizeudlow t
11:59 am
the eighth graders for their video. she dealt were honored in front of family members and local officials. a special thanks to our cable partners, comcast and charter communications. you can view all of the winning documentaries at >> on sunday, may 29 on "the andidency," c-span's american history tv will air a portion of the lbj presidential summit.vietnam war the program focuses on americans who dealt with the growing american presence in vietnam. we will look back at linden b. johnson in the fall of 1967 and
12:00 pm
1968. we will see three archival films. first a film highlighting president johnson's activities in november 1967. this video was divided by the nearly 25 minutes.ibrary in for president johnson, the month of november came with the arrival of the king of nepal. reigning over real life shangri-la, lost for centuries in a remote mountain vastness on the roof of the himalayas, the king of nepal only recently opened his doors to the rest of the world. he is equally thrown wide the doors pp


info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on